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What The Critics Are Saying About Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Fans of Insomniac Games have a lot to be excited for. The developer has taken the fluid movements of its "Spider-Man" games and applied them to the beautiful platforming in "Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart." The PS5 exclusive also features a soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh, who also composed music for the MCU's "Thor: Ragnarok," and has more than enough cartoonish style to back up that bombastic score. "Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart" also puts players in complete control by affording a host of accessibility options to include all gamers. 


With all of that in mind, fans have been prepared for this new sequel to be a real winner. The good news for fans of "Ratchet & Clank" is that "Rift Apart" has not disappointed critics. 

Most critics have given the game favorable, even glowing reviews, hailing "Rift Apart" as the new standard for PS5 exclusives. While each review favors a different aspect of the game, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Even though "Rift Apart" sadly won't release on PS4, it seems that this game might be worth the upgrade to the PlayStation 5. Buckle up and hop into the nearest rift. It's time for a review roundup.

A PS5 treat for the eyes

"Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart" is visually stunning, which was noted in Jonathon Dornbush's positive review for IGN. Dornbush paid special attention to the overall graphical smoothness, referring to "Rift Apart" as "a gorgeous and expertly crafted example of what PS5 exclusives can look and play like." 


Part of what makes the new "Ratchet & Clank" game so enjoyable is the constant momentum, Dornbush said. "That sensation of never slowing down is also thanks to the spectacular load times, which are, as promised, practically nonexistent," he wrote. The game runs beautifully, and provides the seamless experience gamers hoped for when first hearing about the PS5's capabilities.

Dornbush also pointed out that "Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart" is smooth in other areas as well. The game deftly handles big themes while keeping true to the series' tone. "Rift Apart has a surprisingly deft approach to dealing with mental health topics among its entire cast in ways that feel honest and deep," Dornbush wrote. "And it's all wrapped up in this exciting, bright, and bubbly adventure." With likable characters and a beautiful visual package, the game earned a 9/10 from Dornbush and IGN.


Gameplay and mechanics work well

Gene Park with the Washington Post declared that "Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart" was "the greatest exclusive title for a PlayStation platform since 2015′s 'Bloodborne.'" Park noted that many of the mechanical elements of the game, like rifts and various weaponry, remind him of other recent PS5 games, like "Returnal." However, "Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart" may not offer a completely new take on platforming.


Instead, Park marveled at how "Rift Apart" managed to perfect classic elements of platform gaming. While grappling to and from rifts isn't revolutionary in and of itself, the ease with which players can zip across the map in "Ratchet & Clank" makes the mechanic feel reinvented somehow. Park explained, "What it lacks in gameplay innovation, it makes up for by being practically flawless."

Many critics, including Park, have adored the way Insomniac handled certain story elements in "Rift Apart." Park said, "Lead writer Lauren Mee has spun a yarn that succeeds on those merits, with Rivet coming to grips with a lonely life." Rivet, a feminine version of Ratchet from another dimension, has a moving story all her own, which breathes a bit of self reflection into what could be an entirely comedic game.


Characters fans will love

Fans might know Ratchet and Clank from previous installments in the series, but they'll enjoy meeting many of the game's new characters, like Rivet. Chris Tapsell commented in his Eurogamer review that "the Insomniac delivery, the story ... is a simple, mushy delight." Tapsell noted that while certain plot points can seem predictable, Insomniac has perfected a certain style of narrative that makes players feel invested in characters and story. Gamers want to see the characters succeed.


Tapsell even called Rivet "a smidge more likeable" than Ratchet, and explained that her animated expressions and interesting origin story make her an engaging new addition to the already fantastic cast. Rivet seems to fit right in, despite "Rift Apart" being her first appearance in a "Ratchet & Clank" title.

The reviews for "Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart" have been overwhelmingly positive, aside from a few criticisms. For example, John Walker at Kotaku commented that the "Ratchet & Clank" series hasn't wholly progressed much throughout the years. Walker noted that even though "Rift Apart" is fun, it doesn't do anything to truly reinvent the genre. 

Of course, reinvention doesn't always equal fun, and many gamers will likely be happy with the smooth, fast-paced world of "Rift Apart."